The Hetch Hetchy Valley in Yosemite National Park was once described by naturalist John Muir as, “A grand landscape garden, one of nature’s rarest and most precious mountain mansions.”
But in 1913, the U.S. Congress authorized the city of San Francisco to construct a dam and reservoir on the Tuolumne River in Hetch Hetchy to ensure that San Francisco would have a dependable water supply. It is said that the act broke John Muir’s heart, and some have even suggested that this great sadness hastened his death in 1914. By 1923, the dam was completed and the valley was flooded under several hundred feet of water.
Today, the Hetch Hetchy Valley, like many of America’s natural landscapes, is at the center of a restoration debate. But is trying to turn back the clock on natural areas we altered long ago the best way to spend environmental funds, especially in these cash-strapped times? Or would working to protect those wild places we still have in their original state be a better use of scant resources?
As our brothers and sisters in Japan struggle to find peace, understanding, support and a sense of order after this month’s devastating earthquake, I invite each of you to join me as I offer these words of prayer:
An update to Dr. Hyman’s post from the day he left for Haiti.
I slept through the aftershock this morning. A small 6.1 earthquake that had no real impact because everything that could be destroyed, was already destroyed, but the aftershocks that will ripple through the lives of the Haitian people will last for decades.
The horrors in Haiti hit me deeply, and I was compelled into action when the call came for doctors, surgeons and medical supplies to treat the hundreds of thousands of wounded.
There are few times in our lives when we can contribute to something larger than ourselves. Now, felt like one of those times for me.
As you will have already heard and seen across the news, a cataclysmic earthquake measuring 7.0 magnitude caused absolute devastation in Haiti on January 12, 2010.
Thousands of people still remain trapped under rubble and international aid workers are scrambling to provide medical care, food and water to tens of thousands of surviviors.